Sarawat Mountains
The Sarawat Mountains or the Sarat is a mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 running parallel to the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 and is among the Peninsula's most prominent geographical features. The Sarawat start from the border of Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in the north to the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

 in the south, running through Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. The range's northern half, known as Sarat al-Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

rarely rises about 2,100 meters, while the middle and southern portions (Sarat 'Asir and Sarat al-Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, respectively) can reach heights of over 3,300 meters.

This mountain range is the largest in the Arabian Peninsula. These mountains are mainly rocky and some can contain vegetation, unlike the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Many of the peaks are fairly young and jagged, but some are smoother from weathering.

The northern part, running from about north of Ta'if through western Saudi Arabia until the southern tip of Saudi Arabia. Some argue that the mountains of Lebanon and Western Syria are a continuation of the chain. It is mostly a slightly higher elevated area that the rest of Saudi Arabia, with the exception of Asir, and obscure landforms can be found in this chain. Elevations average around 1200-2000 meters, although the highest points are around 2400 meters above sea level.

After Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

, the mountain chain seems to disintegrate until the reappear around Ta'if. Farther south, below Ta'if, there is Asir Province in Saudi Arabia, where rugged mountains can reach near 3,000 meters, with Jabal Sawda
Jabal Sawda
Jabal Sawda is a peak located in Saudi Arabia, with an altitude of around 3,000 metres .Most authorities claim that the peak, with a questioned altitude of 3,133 m, is the highest point in Saudi Arabia, but SRTM data indicates an elevation of 2,985m, with higher elevations elsewhere in the...

 claimed to be the highest at 2,982 meters above sea level. Yet even this part of the Sarawat Mountains is just like a large cliff that climbs out from the Tihamah
Tihamah or Tihama is a narrow coastal region of Arabia on the Red Sea. It is currently divided between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In a broad sense, Tihamah refers to the entire coastline from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb Strait but it more often refers only to its southern half, starting...

 coastal plain. This is supported by the fact that south of Ta'if, the Hejaz (which means "barrier") is almost entirely around 2,000-2,600 meters above sea level.

Nearing the Yemeni border, the Sarawat begin to spread into individual peaks, and the Hejaz turns from a cliff to a gradual ascent up to the Yemeni Plateau. All of the mountains over 3,000 meters (9,800) feet are located in Yemen. The highest of which is Jabal an-Nabi Shu'ayb, which is the highest peak in the Arabian Peninsula. It is 3,666 meters (12,027 feet) high, located near the capital Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

. In Yemen, the Sarawat are divided into the Western and Central highlands, where the western highlands receive plenty of precipitation, more than anywhere else in the peninsula, and the central highlands have the highest mountains in the peninsula. A very dramatic part of the Yemeni Sarawat are the Haraz Mountains, where a few peaks top 3,000 meters but the descents and views from the mountains are staggering; some foots of mountains are only at 500 meters above sea level yet their peaks are at 2,800-3,300 meters.

Geologically, the Sarawat are part of the Arabian Shield, and are made up mostly of volcanic rock
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

. The western slopes end abruptly near the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 coast, while the eastern side of the mountain range slopes downward more gently and is intersected by wadis that support agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, especially in the southern reaches of the Sarawat, where the mountains face the monsoons.

Among the cities located within the Sarawat are the Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 holy city of Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, which is located in a valley in approximately the middle of the Sarawat mountain range, and the Yemeni capital, San'a, located near some of the Sarawat's highest peaks.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.